Daniel Alicea

Daniel Alicea

Associate Director of Finance and Grants Management

Daniel has been with Columbia University for over 10 years working in various positions at the Universities Medical Center & Morningside Campus. As Associate Director of Finance and Grants Management for the Institute, he works closely with the Director of Operations, managing the financial aspects of the institute, including setting up the financial structure of the Data Science Institute, assisting with sponsored project proposal budgets, coordinating with the Institutes centers on their...

Leslie Barna

Assistant Director of Operations

Leslie joins the Data Science Institute as Assistant Director of Operations in August 2014. In her role, working closely with the Directors of Operations and of Strategic Programs, she is focused primarily on managing the administrative functions of the Institute’s academic programs and Industry Affiliates Program.   Leslie has been with Columbia University since 2010 when she started as Executive Assistant to the Vice Dean of The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science. In 2011...

Rachel Fuld Cohen

Career Development Officer

Rachel joined the Institute in November 2014 as the Career Development Officer. In this capacity, she partners with students, corporations, and industry affiliates to leverage student talent into career opportunities. Rachel has prior experience working as a Career Consultant at Golden Gate University and a Graduate Advisor at San Francisco State University. Rachel’s corporate experience is in recruiting for companies such as HBO and Axiom Law. She received her Masters in Counseling, with a...

Brianne Cortese

Program Coordinator

Brianne joined the Data Science Institute as the Institute’s Program Coordinator in October 2014. She provides administrative support to the Chair and assists with the Institute’s day-to-day operations, as well as with grant management and academic program support. Prior to joining the Institute, Brianne was an Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions at William Paterson University of New Jersey and an Executive Assistant at a boutique investment bank in New York City.

Catherine Cramer

Catherine Cramer

Manager of Industry Engagement

Catherine Cramer is the Data Science Institute's Manager of Industry Engagement. She brings over 20 years of experience identifying, creating, sustaining and growing productive and innovative collaborations and partnerships between research, industry and academia, with a particular focus on developing tools for the teaching and learning of complex network and data science. She comes to DSI from the New York Hall of Science, and is currently the lead developer of the data literacy and Social...

Patricia J. Culligan

Patricia J. Culligan

Founding Associate Director

A leader in the field of water resources and urban sustainability, Culligan has worked extensively with The Earth Institute's Urban Design Lab at Columbia University to explore novel, interdisciplinary solutions to the modern day challenges of urbanization, with a particular emphasis on the City of New York. Culligan is the director of a joint interdisciplinary Ph.D. program between Columbia Engineering and the Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation that focuses on designs...

Mark Habana

Associate Director of Research and Grants Development

Mark joined the Data Science Institute in January 2016 tasked with building the Institute's grants portfolio in both public and private sector funding. He began his professional career as an Analytical Chemist at Nabisco and later Kraft's R&D organization, where he was involved in both research projects and company diversity initiatives. An eventual career transition led to positions at Liberty Science Center, Columbia University and NYU School of Medicine in the areas of grant fundraising...

Michelle Hoffman

Michelle Hoffman

Executive Director of Strategic Communications and Media Rel

As the Data Science Institute's Executive Director of Communications and Media Relations, Michelle works with the Institute’s members, affiliates, and students to tell the story of their research and its benefits to society. Michelle has spent her career communicating complex technical concepts to expert and general audiences, first at CELL, Science, and American Scientist magazines, and more recently as the head of media and publication programs for scholarly and professional associations. At...

Eileen Irizarry

Financial Coordinator

Eileen joined the Data Science Institute as the Financial Coordinator in January 2015. She works closely with the Business Manager assisting with grants management and the day-to-day financial needs of the Department. Eileen started at Columbia University in 2012 as the Administrative Assistant in the Earth and Environmental Engineering Department. In 2013, she assumed the role as the EEE Department's Financial Assistant. Prior to joining Columbia University, she spent two years as a College...

Kathleen McKeown

Founding Director
Henry and Gertrude Rothschild Professor

A leading scholar and researcher in the field of natural language processing, McKeown focuses her research on big data; her interests include text summarization, question answering, natural language generation, multimedia explanation, digital libraries, and multilingual applications. Her research group's Columbia Newsblaster, which has been live since 2001, is an online system that automatically tracks the day's news, and demonstrates the group's new technologies for multi-document...

Elliot Sorkin

Elliot Sorkin


Elliot Sorkin creates interactive experiences to launch new programs at Columbia University. He first connected with Columbia in 2008, designing web applications and user interfaces, before transitioning to the Data Science Institute in 2013, developing a website for corporate partners to login and showcase their interaction with Columbia; over 20 affiliates joined since creating this website. Over the years, Elliot expanded his creative services to help launch and grow new academic, industry,...

Sharon Sputz

Director of Strategic Programs

Sharon has combined experience in business strategy and technical research.  Prior to joining the Institute, Sharon spent 11 years at BAE Systems identifying and pursuing new business opportunities in leading edge technology. Her expertise is establishing long term customer relationships to grow and develop new business.  Sharon is skilled in orchestrating research aligned to customer needs in order to promote the funding of new business. She began her career at Bell Laboratories managing and...

Jonathan Stark

Director of Operations

Jonathan has over ten years of professional experience working in higher education. As the Institute’s Director of Operations, he has oversight of the Institute’s financial management, human resources, and day-to-day operations.  Prior to joining the Institute in 2013, he served as the Assistant Dean of Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Affairs (2011-2013) and Student Affairs Officer (2005-2011) for the Office of Graduate Student Affairs for the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied...

Jeannette Wing

Jeannette Wing

Avanessians Director

Jeannette comes to Columbia from Microsoft, where from 2013 to 2017 she served as Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Research, overseeing a global network of research labs. She is widely recognized for her intellectual leadership, having earned the respect and admiration of colleagues across the field for her role in the dramatic transformation of data science into a discipline essential to so much scholarly discovery and productive invention. Jeannette’s seminal essay, titled “Computational...

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